Thanksgiving Parisian Style: FAQ

Thanksgiving dinner 2013 with my friends

Thanksgiving dinner 2013 with my friends

For Americans living in Paris, it can be pretty hard to figure out how to find & cook all that tasty food that makes Thanksgiving so special.

To help you out, I’ve come up with a mini FAQ with some helpful links.

Q: Where do I buy a Turkey in Paris?

A: Go to your local “boucherie” (Butcher’s shop).  They are quite common so you should have no trouble finding one near you.

I have to say, I’ve been really lucky when it comes to French butchers.  I’ve gone to 2 different butchers over the years and both were able to determine the weight of the turkey I needed based on how many people I was inviting and both offered to stuff my turkey for me.  I make my stuffing 2-3 days in advance, drop it off at the butcher’s shop and when I come to get the turkey it’s all ready for the oven!

Useful French Phrase:

*My French isn’t perfect but this is what I’d say.

  • Bonjour, j’aimerais commander une dinde pour (xx) personnes. – Hi, I’d like to order a turkey for (xx) people.
  • Je vais faire mon propre farce. Si je vous l’apporte à l’avance, est-ce que vous pouvez farcir la dinde pour moi? – I’m going to make my own stuffing.  If I bring it to you beforehand, could you stuff the turkey for me?

Q: I live in a tiny Parisian apartment… How am I supposed to cook a turkey without a big oven? 

A: I have a mini oven.  It’s ridiculously small and since the hot coils are really close to the food, I have a tendency to burn things…  BUT it works and you can cook almost anything as long as you keep an eye on it (my problem with burning dishes stems from the fact that I often get distracted and leave my oven unattended… Oops).

Since a giant turkey won’t fit in such a small oven, my butcher gets me big fat turkey legs.  He takes out the bone and stuffs them so I still get that fresh-from-the-bird stuffing taste.  The two turkey legs fit side-by-side in my glass cooking dish, are small enough to fit into my mini oven but big enough to feed 12 people.

** If you don’t have a mini oven, you can buy one at Darty for a good price (69€). Here’s their website – they also have several locations in/around Paris if you don’t want to order it online.

Useful French Vocab:

  • Mini four – mini oven

Q: Where do I buy American products like stuffing packages, gravy mixes, & canned pumpkin?    

A: Surprisingly, there are a few American grocery stores in Paris. I like to go to the store called “Thanksgiving.”


I’ve also heard that The Real McCoy has a good selection of American food but I’ve never been there myself so I’m not sure if their products are really geared to Thanksgiving dinner. But here’s their address just in case:

real mccoypng

For online options check out these 2 sites:

Q: What type of crust should I buy for my pies? 

A: For my apple and pumpkin pies I use “pâte feuilletée.”  For an after-Thanskgiving “Turkey Pot Pie” I use “pâte brisée.”

Q: My pumpkin pie recipe calls for evaporated milk… How can I find that in France?

A: The French equivalent: ” lait concentré non sucré” – I use the brand “Gloria.”

gloria milk

If you have any other questions that I didn’t answer, don’t hesitate to comment or send me a message 🙂

Share your Parisian Thanksgiving Day photos with me on Twitter @baileyanne12 or on Instagram @lyndseyloo1288

Bon Courage!


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